Why I Voted For Daggett

While I don’t think Corzine’s been as bad for New Jersey as most people seem to think (the Dems in the Assembly and Senate being a much different story), there was never any chance I was going to vote for him this year on divided government grounds.  Since I’ve become something of a proud proponent of divided government, this would seemingly make Chris Christie (who’s not only a firstie-firstie, but a firstie-firstie girlie-girlie) the only realistic option.  But then a third party candidate, Chris Daggett started making a sizable dent in the polls.  Meanwhile, I could never figure out what Christie was actually for beyond some platitudes about lower taxes, eliminating “wasteful” spending, and ponies for everyone.  Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that even with divided government, Christie will still be a mess as a governor, for pretty much the same reasons that Bush was a mess as a President even with divided government.  This pretty well explains why:

Lonegan didn’t disappoint. The crowd in the VFW hall, fueled by hot dogs and beer, went wild as the former Bogota mayor launched into his typical Tea Party  tirade against big government. Next up was Kim Guadagno, the No. 2 on the ticket. Guadagno, who grew up in Iowa, started by praising the country music played by the excellent band on the stage behind her. Then she spotted me in the audience. “Hello, Paul,” Guadagno said. “I’m going to tell you a little  bit about the plan we have here in New Jersey. We have a plan.”

A property-tax plan? I’d been pestering her and Christie to come up with one since summer. Better late than never, I thought. But it was not to be. She changed the subject and before long the band was playing country music again.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: until Republicans figure out what they’re for, they’re going to continue having serious problems with good governance.

Compare that to Mr. Daggett (especially here).  While I’ve got my share of disagreements with the guy, I’ve got little difficulty figuring out what he’s for, and every reason in the world to think he’d be an effective governor even with a potentially hostile legislature.

UPDATE: Extra credit for the first commenter to figure out the cinematic origin of the term “firstie-firstie girlie-girlie.”

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27 thoughts on “Why I Voted For Daggett

  1. “I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: until Republicans figure out what they’re for, they’re going to continue having serious problems with good governance.”

    Yeah, I wish Republicans were more aggressive policy-wise (especially wrt health care on the national stage), but that’s a secondary issue for the moment.

    What’s primary is actually a matter of sovereignty of all things. The way things are now, the way the citizens reassert sovereignty over the apparatchik class is by voting Republican. I wish our stores of citizenship were stronger, but that’s the hand we’re dealt right now, and we have to play it. In this context, voting for a minor-party candidate is a lame copout.

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      • Geez, I didn’t know he was over ten whole percent, Obviously he’s in with a fighting chance then.

        As far as voting for Christie, that’s an easy one for me at least. At the risk of repeating myself, the way citizens in America reject the nomenklatura is by voting Republican (and few places more than New Jersey). I hope in the future there will be other ways, and the citizens avail themselves of this opportunity depressingly rarely. But it’s way better this way than not having the opportunity at all.

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        • The trouble of course is when you view the opposition as just as bad as the status quo. Politicians have this weird way of interpreting votes for them as a “mandate” rather than as “I’m not a fan of yours, but the other dude’s been really crappy.” A third party candidate getting double-digit support in the polls – averaging around 15% – however, represents at minimum a viable protest vote. Moreover, in a three-way race in a low-turnout election, a third party candidate with that kind of support can even have a remote chance of pulling off the victory – and yes, I am aware that it’s a remote chance.

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          • “Politicians have this weird way of interpreting votes for them as a “mandate” rather than as “I’m not a fan of yours, but the other dude’s been really crappy.” “

            That’s true, but that sounds like a problem we can deal with when it comes. It looks especially small potatoes in this case, electing a Republican in New Jersey, and one without much of a program at that. Among other things, this goes against wrote you wrote in the original post.

            “A third party candidate getting double-digit support in the polls – averaging around 15% – however, represents at minimum a viable protest vote.”

            Two problems with that: first, your “protest” vote comes at the expense of a viable (winning, maybe) candidate in a position to change things. And this supposed “protest” is not the one means the American people currently have to reject the nomenklatura, which is by voting Republican, not third party.

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            • “your “protest” vote comes at the expense of a viable (winning, maybe) candidate in a position to change things.”

              Except for the fact that his lack of any kind of agenda demonstrates that “change things” just means “will do nothing other than be completely incompetent at managing the bureaucracy.”

              “And this supposed “protest” is not the one means the American people currently have to reject the nomenklatura, which is by voting Republican, not third party.”

              When a third party candidate has demonstrated that he is at least viable, voting Republican is not the only way of rejecting the ruling elite. Indeed, voting Republican (or, as the case may be, Democrat) is often simply saying that you prefer to replace one set of proven failures with another set of proven failures.

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              • “Except for the fact that his lack of any kind of agenda demonstrates that “change things” just means “will do nothing other than be completely incompetent at managing the bureaucracy.””

                That’s an odd charge to make against Mr. Christie. The US Attorney’s job is, if nothing else, a matter of managing a bureaucracy.

                “When a third party candidate has demonstrated that he is at least viable, voting Republican is not the only way of rejecting the ruling elite. Indeed, voting Republican (or, as the case may be, Democrat) is often simply saying that you prefer to replace one set of proven failures with another set of proven failures.”

                No, rejecting the nomenklatura is something that goes way beyond one race, to what the parties represent culturally in the American context. And there is simply nothing in recent American political history to suggest third parties are a viable vehicle for reclaiming the sovereignty of the American people.

                For people like you and me, the reality is that right now we need the Republican party a lot more than it needs us. But I suspect that’s a lot more troublesome for you than me, which I’m guessing is really the issue here. That is, there’s a common psychological wall of distaste between liberals and dissident conservatives at the prospect of a Republican actually winning anything important.

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  2. You wasted your vote! Chris Daggett is a Dem plant whose only running to take votes away from Christie. The most recent Daggett robo calls CLEARLY show that the Dem party is supported Daggett. Daggett also has NO chance of winning so you obviously don’t care about change. Look at Christie record as a prosecutor. This guy has balls and took down some big political guns. This is EXACTLY who you want as our new governor. I’m sad that you decided to throw your vote away during such a crucial time in NJ history.

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  3. You idiots can’t figure it out. It’s about policies not political parties. We need someone who can cut waste and corruption. Why wouldn’t you vote for a guy with a track record of putting corrupt people in jail? The mind boggles….

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  4. So OK. The plan regarding the property taxes seems pretty detailed. But the rest of the stuff from the first link? Like this?

    “We need a governor willing to start talking seriously about reducing the real cost drivers of ever-rising salary, health care benefit and pension costs…”

    We need to begin discussing issues? That’s what the governor does? That’s what counts as being “for” something? Has the Republican candidate come down firmly against beginning to discuss these things?

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  5. I agree that the second link has details. The first does not. It basically does everything we seem to criticize Republicans for doing. Namely, it offers pretty weak tea from a policy perspective.

    Let’s discuss taxes. OK! While we are at it, can we all agree that the health care syste, needs reformed? Can we all agree that taxes are too complex? Can we all agree that we need a more secure nation and better schools?

    Sure.

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  6. Given the results tonight, it would seem that many of the potential Daggett voters went home to either Christie or Corzine. What a horrible choice to have to make. I’m afraid we might have a similarly horrendous choice of candidates here in MA next year.

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